A Walk for Suicide Awareness


On May 20th, ACTS participated in Forest Park High School’s Suicide Awareness Walk. The event has been held for 3 years now, and has been spearheaded by the seniors of Mrs. Shannon Geraghty’s AP Government Class. The walk itself, in which participants travel the estimated 6 miles from Forest Park to Hylton High School, is designed to raise awareness of mental health and issues of suicide. This year, a huge group of AP Government students kept the walk going, and their goal was to increase awareness and encourage open conversations about mental health issues. Among the guests that spoke were Congressman Gerry Connolly, Senator Jeremy McPike, and Lt. Governor Ralph Northam.

Vicki Graham, Chief Program Officer of ACTS' Crisis and Trauma Division, attended the event and commented:

"I have attended the Suicide Awareness Walk every year and each year they are more well attended. The students, under the direction of Ms. Geraghty, do a fantastic job. They are organized and committed to raising awareness. One thing that has stood out to me every year is the attitude of the students. They are polite and extremely helpful. We appreciate the heart and dedication of the students to raise awareness about such an important topic and one that deeply effects their age group.  Marc DeAngelo, MSW has been ACTS' point of contact for the event. His support and encouragement adds to the success of the walk."

Since the fiscal year began last July, ACTS’ Helpline has answered 5,991 calls related to suicide, 89 calls related to sexual assault, and 3,232 calls that involved other crises.  In addition, there have been 7 Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (LOSS Team) visits, and 19 community education and training sessions with 357 people in attendance. ACTS’ Helpline is here to help those who often suffer silently. If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional hardship, our crisis listeners can offer you resources and an ear to listen. Please don’t hesitate to call them, day or night, at (703) 368-4141.

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